Summit Academy sprints past Ford City
It was a game in which everything was clicking for Summit Academy, and nothing seemed to be working for Ford City.
Elijah Hardy ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns, and the Knights scored 32 unanswered points after falling behind visiting Ford City to win, 38-14, in an Allegheny Conference matchup on Saturday.
Nathaniel Cofer scored two touchdowns — one rushing and one on a fumble recovery — and J'Ron Hill-Phillips added another rushing touchdown for Summit Academy (2-3, 2-2).
Chantz Schrecengost led the Ford City ground game with 67 yards.
The Knights were productive no matter who was carrying the ball, but Hardy was the difference maker in his second game with more than 150 yards this season.
“I really think our kids don't know who we are yet as a team, but we're making progress,” Summit Academy coach Steve Sherer said.
“Hardy is a pretty special back for us, (Larry) Richardson is a special back, and we're starting to develop on the line. (Kelvin) Cruz, our left tackle, he had a great game today.”
Schrecengost put Ford City (2-3, 1-3) ahead with a 23-yard touchdown to cap the Sabers' first drive.
But Hardy scored on a 53-yard sprint on Summit's next drive.
The Knights took a 14-7 advantage to halftime after Hill-Phillips scored on a quarterback sneak, and after the break, it was all Summit Academy.
Cofer made the score 20-7 by falling on the ball in the end zone after Ford City punter Tyler Blaniar was unable to corral a low snap.
Summit Academy then scored on its next two possessions to extend the lead out to 32-7.
The Sabers scored in the fourth quarter on a 57-yard pass from Mike Bartosiewicz to Cody Peppler, but by that point, the game was out of reach.
“We've got a lot of young guys out there in positions we normally wouldn't put them in, but we have to because of injuries and some other things,” Ford City coach John Bartolovic said.
“It's hard to play that way, but I wasn't happy with our hustle and desire out there. We didn't have the want and will.”
The win puts Summit in sole possession of fourth place in the Allegheny Conference as it bids for the conference's final playoff spot.
“It was tough losing three weeks in a row, and sometimes with a team like ours, it takes them a while to realize what it takes day-in and day-out to win,” Sherer said.
“But I could tell the day before this game that our kids are starting to get it. We did a good job with the tempo of the game and getting in and out of the huddle, and when we do that, we start to move ahead.”